As Jack hinted in this morning’s Link sAUsage, JB Grimes resigned his post at UConn this morning in order to become Auburn’s offensive line coach again. Grimes returns after Herb Hand left to coach the offensive line and become co-offensive coordinator at Texas.
Grimes originally coached the Tigers up front from 2013-2015. He left after the 2015 season to join Cincinnati. After one year with the Bearcats, he left to join former Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee at Connecticut. The Huskies saw a 1.06 yards per carry and 28.7 yards per game bump this year as Lashlee and Grimes implemented the new offense. Grimes also directed the offensive line as Auburn led the SEC in rushing in 2013, finished second in 2014, and fifth in 2015. Grimes also coached 2014 second overall NFL draft pick Greg Robinson and 2014 Remington Award winner Reese Dismukes.
As for downsides? Well, Grimes was never known as a dynamic recruiter, and Auburn really needs to finish well with offensive line recruits during this window. Also, Grimes was more-or-less eased out the door to make room for Hand two years ago. This may have been an opportunity to bring in someone with whom Chip Lindsey was already comfortable*. Now, hopefully Lindsey had some input into this hire, but on the surface it sounds like this was Malzahn’s idea.
All in all, Auburn moved quickly to fill a gap in the coaching staff during a critical recruiting period. We do know that Grimes is familiar with the entire offensive staff, and he has been successful with Malzahn, running backs coach Tim Horton, and wide receivers coach Kodi Burns before.
*-To be fair, Grimes and Lindsey worked together in 2013 when Lindsey was an offensive analyst.